HANDELSBLATT EXCLUSIVE

Advisory Firm Hermes to Vote against Deutsche Börse Board

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Deutsche Börse is the latest German company to feel the heat at its annual general meeting, when disgruntled shareholders vent their frustration.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Deutsche Börse’s planned $27 billion tie-up with the London Stock Exchange (LSE) was blocked by the European Commission in late March.
    • Some investors accuse the management among CEO Carsten Kengeter of underestimating the task and its political implications.
    • They are expected to not approve the management board’s actions at the upcoming shareholder meeting and call for changes to the board.
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    Audio

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Bilanz-Pk Deutsche Börse
Shareholders are not satisfied with Mr. Kengeter's performance. Picture source: DPA

The influential British investor advisory service Hermes plans to vote against the executive board of Deutsche Börse at the exchange operator’s May 17 shareholders meeting, Handelsblatt has learned.

Hans-Christoph Hirt, the head of Hermes EOS, told Handelsblatt that the vote of no confidence was due to an insider trading investigation against Deutsche Börse CEO Carsten Kengeter as well as deficiencies in how he handled the failed merger with the London Stock Exchange.

Shareholders have nothing against taking calculated risks in a merger, Mr. Hirt said, but they expect those in charge to not be politically naive and also to communicate well with the main interest groups.

Critics of Mr. Kengeter say he underestimated the political hurdles that the merger faced in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Mr. Kengeter has acknowledged that he failed to argue persuasively enough in favor of the merger.

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